Making St. Michael’s Affordable

Posted on

St. Michael’s School realizes that the cost of a private education is a major sacrifice for many of our families. Fortunately, in the State of Arizona we have a Tax Credit Program that refunds $1 in state income taxes for each dollar donated to it. This can be a significant help for parents to afford the St. Michael’s tuition cost. This program can be useful in two ways:

1. St. Michael’s General Scholarship Fund:

First, many people contribute their Tax Credit anonymously to St. Michael’s through the Arizona Episcopal School Foundation (AESF) for our School to help needy students. Any parent is eligible to apply for a portion of these funds and the School’s Scholarship Committee will allocate them to students as fairly as possible. This process begin in January and runs through the start of the school year. By law parents are not allowed to donate their tax credits to their own children, or to “swap” them with other families, so we encourage all our parents to donate to the AESF. Since no student receives a full ride scholarship, these donations help to keep tuition lower for all students.

2. Specific help for your child:

Second, there are School Tuition Organizations (organizations that distribute tax credit dollars) in Arizona that will provide Tax Credits for St. Michael’s Students. These groups have different amounts available each year and have varying qualifications for students to receive them. We encourage parents to apply to these organizations to help fulfill their tuition obligation. Scholarships can be awarded in two ways, either through General Application or by Specific Designation to your child.

General Applications:

These organizations allow anyone to apply and award funds based on their individual criteria. Two of the STO’s that provide the most funding to St. Michaels are:

Arizona School Choice Trust (ASCT) (623-414-3429)

AAA Foundation (888-707-2465)

Parents may want to consider applying to these organizations as many of our students have received funds from them.

Specific Designation:

Many of our parents actively discuss Tax Credits with their family and friends that have an Arizona State Income Tax Obligation. If these individuals would like to help your child by donating their Tax Credits to them they can give the funds to STO’s that allow for donors to recommend your child to receive the tax credit. Please note, that the law states: “A School Tuition Organization cannot award, restrict, or reserve scholarships solely on the basis of a donor’s recommendation. A Taxpayer may not claim a Tax Credit if the Taxpayer agrees to swap donations with another taxpayer to benefit either Taxpayer’s own Dependent.”However, these organizations will consider the recommendation of the donor and will generally honor that recommendation. STOs that allow this type of designation include:

Arizona Tuition Connection (480-409-4106)

Institute for Better Education (520-512-5438)

Through the aggressive use of Arizona State Tax Credits, many parents have been able to provide their children with St. Michael’s outstanding education with limited out-of-pocket costs. If you have any questions regarding the above information, please contact either St. Michael’s Director of Finances/Operations, Charmaine Lang, or our Interim Director of Philanthropy, Christine Longo, at the school’s main number, 722-8478.